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Mental Practice (Read 346 times)

Offline sdphins

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Mental Practice
« on: February 08, 2021, 11:42:25 PM »
Hi unfortunately I injured my wrist and can't play piano for about a month >:(. People have been telling me of mental practice I was wondering for those of you who know about it, how effective is it as a substitute for physical practice and how does one go about mental practicing?

Thanks in advance!

Offline j_tour

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Re: Mental Practice
«Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 12:18:09 AM »
Hi unfortunately I injured my wrist and can't play piano for about a month >:(. People have been telling me of mental practice I was wondering for those of you who know about it, how effective is it as a substitute for physical practice and how does one go about mental practicing?

Oh, it's great.  Sorry to hear about your wrist, but maybe some good will come out of taking another approach to music.

I can only speak for myself, but it involves anything from reading the scores with some concentration, or really concentrating very hard and playing through a given piece in your mind's ear (you could be working on aural memory, or focusing on visualizing your hands and fingerings, and I'm sure there are other things to be done as well).

And, you can always search out many, many editions of various works, see how various editors approached the work:  kind of a bit of an informal musicological study.  There are some very interesting dissertations or theses out there online that undoubtedly target some works you are studying.  Not a waste of time, I don't think.
 
I'd be interested to know how other people approach this as well.  My own strategies are pretty basic, but I think it's effective.

And, who knows, maybe you can channel your inner Paul Wittgenstein and mess around with some of the one-handed repertoire, just for fun.

Or, if solfege/sight singing isn't your strong suit, that's certainly a productive pursuit.

In addition to penciling in fingerings (or just considering then mentally), you can as well pencil in the "do-re-mi" etc. on the score, or try to sing (!  yes, even if your voice is sh*t) it using the correct pitches.  I find the solfège as well as deliberate work on fingerings is a way to keep "on track" while working from memory.  Or while working from the score.

Last idea?  Look at full orchestral scores, and try to master the C clef and its variations:  I know that would be one thing I'd try to work on, not being very adept at reading orchestral scores from sight.  I think that would be useful as a practical ability in the future, as well. 
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Offline anacrusis

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Re: Mental Practice
«Reply #2 on: February 10, 2021, 09:33:39 PM »
Gieseking and Leimer have written a book simply called "Piano Technique" which has some ideas on mental practise. If I recall it's their basic and preferred approach to learning pieces and passages. Some of them are challenging but I have seen that their ideas can be highly effective so it's well worth a read!